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Vine and Fig Tree

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
January 20, 2023 9:00 am

Vine and Fig Tree

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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January 20, 2023 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah talks about how the early American's where guided by the Word of God as they established this country. 

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Hello, everyone. Today is Friday, January the 20th. I'm Ryan Hill.

I'm John Galantis. You're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at

If you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for future episodes, make sure you write in and let us know at 252-582-5028, or you can send us an email at contact at That's right. Ryan, I know you've had a stressful week, so I brought in a little present for you.

You did? Yeah, I brought in just a little present, just something to brighten your day. A present for me? What is it, cake? I don't like cake. Oh, no! It's much better than cake. Everybody, I pulled this gag on Monday where I reached down to pick up the baby, but it wasn't here.

It's much better than cake. Look at his eyes. He's like, what's happening? Hey, you're on the radio, bud. Hi, buddy. Yawn. Oh, my goodness. He's so sweet.

He's radially yawned. Hey. Oh, no. Oh, sweet guy. Anyway, I just wanted to meet everybody on Clearview Today. Hi, Holden. We love you.

Say, I love you, too. All right, buddy. Oh, so sweet.

If you're not watching the show, you just missed the cutest baby, maybe in all of creation. Thank you, Ellie. Oh, my goodness. That's awesome. Yeah, that's a good reason for you guys to be watching the video podcast. Sweet. And you can find those where? You can find those on the You can also find it on the Clearview Today Facebook page. And I didn't get to say this up top, but you guys can help us keep this conversation going by supporting this podcast, sharing it online, and leaving us a good review on iTunes, Spotify, Audible, Amazon, wherever you get your podcast from. And we're going to leave you a link so that you can do that.

That's right. I'm convinced if one thing and that is that that baby is not going to cause me a single moment's headache in my entire life. He's so precious.

I can't imagine ever having an iota of stress over him. You look Oh, my sweet, my sweet summer child. You've had a stressful day. I've got a tale for you. Let's read the verse of the day first.

This is a tale of woe. Let's read the verse of the day first, because I need to preface this with scripture. I need to get my mind right in the right place. Why don't you chill and I'll read the verse of the day.

You just try to get your mind right. Ephesians 5, 6 says, For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything but faith working through love. That's right.

Yeah. Paul is kind of reminding us what's essential in life, and that's our faith. And that shows itself through our loving actions. If I just have faith in God, if I just believe in Him, but I don't do anything with it.

You know, I think even the book of James says that's dead. That's right. Yeah. And the motivation for that, the motivation for our works is that love that we have, the love that we've received.

So it's this cycle. It's not either or. Sometimes people try to separate in those categories, but it's both and.

It's faith and works working together to display the love of Christ. That's right. Tell me about your week. Here's the thing. I feel like I always dominate the banter side of these episodes. So I'm going to lean back. Well, and here's the deal.

I'm going to let you go. You have, your life is often, you often hit extremes in your life. I'm at a pretty like even keel right now. The kids are kind of like, you know, they're involved in sports, but they're pretty self-sufficient. Not a lot of stress there right now, except for this week. You got to tell them.

You got to tell them. So one of my sweet, sweet little children was playing with a coin. It was one of those $1, you know, like the gold $1 coins that they had for a while.

Well, she had one of them and yeah, as kids do, you know, you kind of just kind of play with it and you're propping it up on places and you, you know, you put it up, like balance it with your lips. Let's see if I can blow the coin. Right.

Well, plot twist. Gravity's working and the coin deposited itself in her throat. So passive.

So passive. She didn't swallow the coin. It deposited itself. Because the coin itself was malicious. This coin sabotaged my daughter. So the, uh, she swallows the coin instantly, instant panic, right? We end up having to take her in because the coin is stuck.

It's not moving anywhere. It's hurting her. It's causing her to be sick. So we take her in, get her checked out, do some x-rays. Sure enough, the coin is exactly where she feels like it is.

Does it hurt? Is she hurt? Yeah, she's in pain. And she got, but she obviously can't eat or drink anything because there's a big piece of metal stuck in her throat. So take her to the hospital. They transferred her to another hospital because of her age.

They need some pediatric specialists. So they transferred her to another hospital. They got it out. She's got a pretty cool souvenir now. And we learned a valuable lesson about not putting money in your mouth. Very good. Not just cleanliness, but because it can really mess you up.

It can be dangerous. And Dr. Shah actually went with Elizabeth to Duke. He did, yes. So thankful that he was able to, because I was at home with the other four kids. So I was so thankful that he was able to drive Elizabeth to the hospital, you know, because as a parent in that moment, your kid's in the ambulance in front of you and you're like, you know, freaking out. You don't want to be behind a wheel.

So he was able to go with her and drive her. See, I ate, I did stuff like that as a kid. I would eat like pennies and rocks and stuff. So I remember when you guys were like, I remember when you guys were like, yeah, she swallowed the coin. I was like, Oh, is it down? They're like, yeah, it's down. It's like, okay, well, she should be good. But then to find out it's still there, still in the esophagus.

That's crazy. Yeah. If she, like a dime or a penny or something, she'd been able to swallow it, work its way down, which is why they took the x-ray. If it was working its way down, then it's like, okay, well, just kind of let it do its thing. But it wasn't going anywhere. And she was in pain. So we're like, you still have the coin.

Yeah. You want to bring it in on Monday for the Monday show? Here's Joanna's coin. She could keep that coin. I told her we're going to make like a, I don't know, like a pendant or a key chain out of it or something. Maybe like a Harvey Dent coin where anytime she has a life decision, she just flips it. The coin flips.

The coin accidentally goes in her mouth again. So hopefully not as, you know, intense as that event, but we do have an exciting show planned for you guys today. Yes. It's not going to be quite that into.

No, no, no. But it's some important stuff for us to go over. So we're going to get Dr. Sean in just a second. But if you guys have any questions or suggestions for new topics, make sure you text us at 252-582-5028 or visit us online at

We'll be back after this. Hey, everyone. My name is Ellie.

And I'm David. We want to take a minute and let you know how we can actually serve you as you're listening to Clearview Today. The Bible paints an extraordinary picture of who we are as a church body. The mission of Clearview Church is to lead all people into a life changing, ever-growing relationship with Jesus Christ. A huge part of leading people is praying for them. A big reason that Christians have unanswered prayers in their life is because they're not praying.

You know, 1 John 5 15 says, and if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of him. If you're listening to the Clearview Today Show, we want to know how we can pray for you as well. There's a number of ways that you can get in touch with us at Clearview and share your prayer request. But the best way is by texting us at 252-582-5028. You can also send us an email at prayer at or you can download the Clearview app on iTunes or Google Play.

You know, on that app, there's a dedicated prayer wall that helps us to get to know what's going on in your life, how we can pray for you and how we can take any necessary steps to get you moving in the right direction. Thanks for listening. Now let's get back to the show. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at If you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028. Dr. Shah, welcome to the studio today.

My hero, the one who saved the day. I did? Yes.

Yes. So we talked earlier on the show about, you know, Holinson and Joanna gobbling up a coin and thinking she was a piggy bank. Was he humble or was he forgotten? I was like, oh, I don't know. Yeah, I was forgotten.

I was thinking that way. I was at home with the kids. Elizabeth had to go to the hospital and you came out and drove her and stayed with her and just made sure she was there and taken care of. So I'm beyond grateful. Well, you know, you guys are family and this is how we do, you know, care about people, not only in our church, but definitely in our staff family, definitely. Yeah.

And so it was, you know, when I heard from you and I was like, well, why don't we get somebody to stay with you? And then, you know, you knew that you had to take care of those four kids. And I mean, they were traumatized too, you know, watching their little sister choke in front of them.

That, that's not fun. And then all the other things they had to do that day. So that was the right thing to do. And I'm glad I was able to be there and I'm so glad she's okay. And Elizabeth was a great mom, just calm and helping Joanna and loving on her. And, you know, it was, there's a reason for all that.

I don't know what it is. Maybe we'll find out one day. God's going to work it together for good in his own time. And that's something that you've always been faithful to remind us of. So we're very thankful for that. For you guys listening out at home, if this is your first episode that you're ever tuning in, we want to welcome you. Dr. Abbadon Shah is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, a professor at Carolina University, author, pastor, and the host of today's show.

And you can follow his work at That's right. And so on today's episode, we're continuing our discussion from yesterday, you know, in this pursuit of peace. We talked yesterday about the greener grass syndrome. People are looking for the next greatest thing, the magic solution, whatever they need. But in the pursuit of peace, a lot of times we pursue peace in the wrong places. We look for that peace, but we're looking wrongly. And it implies that we don't have a biblical understanding of how to pursue peace, what that actually entails.

Right, right. And so I think it's so important for us to really, you know, pray and seek God's wisdom and guidance into what is it that brings true fulfillment? What is it that brings that lasting peace? You know, we talk about in the Bible, that peace that passes all understanding means it cannot be put in words, it cannot be, you know, encapsulated or just, you know, just really explained, but you know it when you have it. And that's the peace that only God provides.

That's right. There was a message a while ago that you preached that resonated with a lot of people. We talked about it as a staff, but we heard from many people that this kind of changed their understanding of what it looks like to pursue peace and really what peace is.

What that goal looks like, what people are actually striving for. And there was a phrase that you mentioned in that message. You talked about pursuing your vine and your fig tree. Right, right. Do you want to talk about a little bit where that comes from, where that phrase originated?

Yeah. Well, my introduction to that phrase was through early American history. You know, I'm talking about George Washington in particular and how he repeatedly, I believe 50 plus times, talked about his vine and fig tree.

Of course, he was referring to Mount Vernon, you know, his home. But where did he get that idea? Where did he get that phrase from? And believe it or not, it's coming from the Bible.

Really? It's coming from Micah, you know, one of those minor prophets, minor by no means as less important, minor in the sense that they were just shorter works that they wrote. But Micah is one of those minor prophets. And he mentions the vine and fig tree. And George Washington, not just George Washington, but many of our early founding fathers mentioned that. It represents three kinds of freedom.

And we're going by, you know, just based on the context in which these people lived. I'm using Driesbach's work on this subject. I've read several of his books, and he's just a wonderful writer, especially of American history.

And he talks about this in great depth. But it represents three kinds of freedom. Number one, freedom from want, freedom from fear, and freedom of religion. So these are those three freedoms that when you say, when they said my vine and fig tree, they were referring to freedom from want, freedom from fear, and freedom of religion. But originally, it's coming from Micah, as I mentioned to you. And so we need to get the context right, because once you understand the context, then the rest makes sense.

If not, it'll just be like, my vine and my fig tree is just, I have everything I want, you know, right here. No, it's more than that. So, Micah was a prophet of the southern kingdom of Judah and lived somewhere around, we're talking about the eighth century BC, 740 BC to about 690 BC, kind of a contemporary of Isaiah the prophet, right. And he primarily preached to the southern kingdom, but he was also prophesying to the northern kingdom. And he was addressing the capital cities of the north and the south. Of the north would be Samaria, of the south would be Jerusalem.

And he was telling them to repent. He was telling them that, you know, what you're doing here is disastrous, because what the southern kingdom had done was they were trying to build an alliance with Assyria to help them fight their brothers to the north. You know, remember, Israel was divided into the north and the south.

North became Israel, south became Judah. So Judah was seeking help from Assyria to attack Israel, to help them with Israel. And Micah warned them, he said, look, yes, Assyria is going to come down. Tiglath-Pilaser is going to come down and he's going to attack the north. He's going to deal with your enemies, your own flesh and blood, right, the remaining 10 tribes. He's going to deal with them. But do know this, that they're going to keep on marching. And once they're done destroying the north, they're going to come after the south. And just the way Micah has said it happened, you know, it was Tiglath-Pilaser made his way down.

One by one, he captured every city along the way, starting in Damascus, and then all the way in Galilee, made his way all the way to the south. And then his son, then he died. And people were like, oh, there you go, it's all stopped. No, his son, Shelman-Ezer, I was gonna say like, when does that ever happen?

Especially in like antiquity, like always the sun takes over. He's gone, we're good. No, Shelman-Ezer comes and he, you know, and there were rebellions going on here and there. He put down the rebellion and then he said, okay, now I'm going to deal with you guys. And so he, first and foremost, dealt with the north, right, the kingdom of Israel, the northern kingdom, and deported them. So about 722 BC is the Assyrian exile. This is the context in which the Assyrian exile took place. And then he went after the southern kingdom.

He's like, well, you know, might as well deal with you guys too. So it wasn't like a punitive thing. It was just, hey, we're conquerors, you're prey, easy pickings, we're going to go ahead and deal with you too, because sooner or later you're going to rise up against us.

They weren't punishing Judah for anything in particular. They were just, this is conquest. While we're here conquering, we might as well.

Yeah. Even though you invited us, but now we're going to deal with you. So you can't go to the north anymore, right? The north has come after you. No, no, you can't go after the, to build an alliance with the north of the Assyrian empire because the Assyrian empire is of attacking you now.

So where do you go? You go to the south or you go to the north east because northwest would be the Mediterranean sea. So northeast is Mesopotamia, Babylon.

So, so the southern kingdom now tried to make an alliance with Egypt and Babylon. And again, God told him, he said, don't do that. You know, you're, you're, you're doing these kinds of things. It's just going to get, go from bad to worse. And so time is moving along. After Shalmaneser came Sargon, after Sargon came Sennacherib. And Sennacherib again was a very ruthless leader.

He laid siege to about 46 strong cities and countless villages along the path. And, and then it's so bad that archeologists have found a place. This is a place called Lakish and they have found a massive pit where the Assyrians dumped close to about 1500 bodies. And you find pig bones scattered all over.

I mean, it wasn't, it was like they were desecrating the people just to make a point like, this is how, this is who we are and this is what we'll do to you. So, so in Micah chapter two, verse 12, you know, we, we find this passage, I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob. I will surely gather the remnant of Israel. I will put them together like a sheep of the full, like a flock in the midst of their pasture.

They shall make a loud noise because of so many people. I mean, this is what's happening. Just the way Micah prophesied.

It happened. So now the king of Judah, King Hezekiah begins to pray and his prayer is in second Kings 19, where he prays and he's, you know, a bit lofty words, O Lord God of Israel, the one who dwells between the cherubim, you are God. Now Hezekiah was a good king overall, but he had his issues too. But anyways, he prayed and said, God in verse 17, truly Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations in their lands and have cast their gods into the fire. For they were not gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone.

Therefore they destroy them. Now, therefore, O Lord, God, I pray, save us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you are the Lord God, you alone. Powerful prayer. And God answered and said, okay, all right. He shall not come into this city.

This is second Kings, 1932, nor shoot an arrow here, nor come before it with shield, nor build a siege mount upon it against it. By the way that he came, by the same way, shall he return and he shall not come into the city. And guess what? Just the way God had promised it came to pass on in verse 35, it says on a certain night that the angel of the Lord went out and killed in the camp of the Assyrians, one hundred and eighty-five thousand. Wow. Wow.

And when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses all dead. Wow. I mean, I mean, this was a slaughter, one hundred and eighty-five thousand people lying dead. Wow.

Okay. So Sennacherib, king of Assyria, went back the way he came, just the way God had prophesied. Micah had prophesied, just said God had promised and or warned. And he went away to return home and remain at Nineveh and his own sons killed him, by the way. Just a side note, history tells us while he was worshipping the temple of Nisroch, his god, you know, he was killed. And kind of interesting, the Egyptian history kind of or the Greek historians kind of help us out here.

According to Herodotus, Pharaoh Setos of Egypt, he had a dream that that a deity was going to fight Sennacherib and that night an army of field mice got into the Assyrian camp and destroyed their weapons. Most scholars believe that this is probably a form of a bubonic plague. Oh, wow. Wow. That makes sense. That's crazy, though.

A pandemic happened in one hundred and eighty-five thousand. Yeah. Why? So there's nothing new under the sun, is it? Yeah. You know? Yeah. Well, I mean, I think that's that's true for us, too.

Like you look at all this craziness happening in our world today and it's like, is God trying to tell us something like he did for his people? Right. You know? Yeah.

I mean, I would say so. I mean, this is what's happening again. And so, you know, the point was Hezekiah repented and God came through for his people. And then comes this promise in Micah chapter four, verse one. Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountain and it shall be exalted above the hills and people shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say, come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord to the house of the God of Jacob. If you know, this was a song, by the way.

Remember that from back in the 80s? Maybe not. I don't think so. Come and let us go. He will teach us his ways and we shall walk in his paths. For out of Zion, the law shall go forth and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples and rebuke strong nations. Far off they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations shall not lift up sword against nation.

Neither shall they learn war anymore. But here's that phrase. Everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree and no one shall make them afraid.

That's where we get the idea. That's what the founding father, especially George Washington, picked up on is that no one shall make them afraid that being in America, people do not have to fear. So, hence, freedom from want, freedom from fear and freedom of religion. It's like the ideal, it's like the ideal world devoid of fear, devoid of oppression. It's the vision of peace.

Not just the goal that I'm striving for, but the actual vision itself of that future peace. You're sitting under your vine and your fig tree. So, they both represent some important things like life and vitality and fertility.

All of this is promised when you're sitting under the vine and the fig tree. And again, as I mentioned to you, Daniel Driesbach does a great job in kind of expositing this whole idea. Now, George Washington, as I mentioned to you, this was his favorite Bible verse, Micah 4-4. And he often talked about God as providence or the governor of the universe or higher cause or the greater ruler of events. And the reason he would do that is not because he was avoiding saying the name of Jesus, but he was making sure that no one will claim him and say, oh, he is this denomination. Hence, everybody in America will be this denomination. He was making sure that everybody would have the freedom to worship according to the dictates of their conscience.

So, he does that, but he knew the Bible. George Washington, I believe was a strong believer. And if you ever read the book 1776, I'm reading it right now. I think I got in the office in there.

Go grab it before by David McCullough. He had a strong faith in Jesus Christ that helped him in those early years of the Revolutionary War. Anyways, all that to say, he was not some 17th century Anglican or a Latitudinarian.

I can even say it, Latitudinarian. To be fair, that's tough to say. Yeah, it's one of those, you know, it's like they're just moral men. No, he was more than just a moral man. He was a believer. He was a Christian. In fact, several times he talked about this phrase to Lafayette. He said, everyone under his own vine and fig tree shall begin to taste the fruits of freedom. To the Hebrew congregation in Newport, he said, and again, this is about 1790, he said, everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.

Landon Carter, he told him in the shades of Mount Vernon, under my vine and fig tree, where at all times I should be glad to see you. You've been to Mount Vernon, haven't you? How serene is it? How peaceful does it look? See, I didn't know at the time about the vine and fig tree, but this is, when I'm talking about Mount Vernon, we went there in 2010.

So about 12, 13 years ago. Should take a trip back together and maybe do some little vine and fig tree. But I walked on the grounds and I can totally understand, you know, you see what river is it in the back? Potomac River, right, right, right. And so it's just beautiful, serene view, peaceful.

Potomac River. Yeah. I mean, just, he was just so relaxed. You can even just, I mean, just talking about it here, you could just get this scent of overwhelming calm, this peace that washes over you, just picturing sitting in this beautiful meadow under lush greenery.

I hate to compare it because this is so much better, but it's like the end of infinity war when like the war is over, it's time for peace. And I have this place that I've set aside to live out my final days. Yeah. Yeah. And so, you know, this is what he wanted. He wanted for every American and they may not have a Mount Vernon as their vine and fig tree, but it would be their own little home, little piece of plot of land, maybe half an acre, maybe just a little postage stamp, but this is their vine and fig tree.

And that's what he wanted for every American. And you know, as I mentioned to you, it represented freedom from want, freedom from fear and freedom of religion. Wow.

That's beautiful. Yeah. Now somebody, you know, people may often bring up the issue of what about those slaves? You know, so in that situation, I would say this much, if you study history and if you study George Washington's life and what, what he tried to accomplish, just remember when Lafayette asked him about abolishing slavery, he said, I'm concerned for the union.

I want this thing to work. And even when the Quakers asked him the same question, he said, you know, this would tear up the union. But Washington, George Washington made his statement, a very clear statement when he freed all 123 of his slaves when he died. That's right. I love that. I love that imagery of what we, what we need to pursue as peace.

That's the goal, our vine and our fig tree. Yeah. And I think in America today where people are trying to abolish and eradicate and wipe out American history, be careful how you do that. Okay. Let history stand because when you truly study history, you realize these men were ahead of their times. And I challenge anybody today to have the courage that this man did.

Okay. They, they knew what they were doing. They were fighting for freedom. And they also knew that we got to preserve this union, but there will come a day when people will have to fight.

But what a statement he made because he could have been like, you know, I'm dying. So guys build a big monument for me. Let all my slaves do all this for me. No, he said, okay, go home. We're done.

No more. If you guys enjoyed today's topic or you have suggestions for future episodes, make sure you send us a text at 252-582-5028. You can also visit us online at and that same link, you can support us financially. We, we bring this up in every episode because we, not, not because we want to ask you for your money, but because it gives you a chance to partner with us. This is a team effort that we built together. This Clear View Today show family that we've created, and you get to be a part of sending this at these episodes, sending the message of the gospel far and wide. We're grateful for your support. We're grateful for your partnership. I want to give you the opportunity to be obedient in that way.

That's right. Part of sharing the message of God is also giving the people of God an opportunity to respond. You know, that's what we do as worship leaders. That's what we do as a pastor. That's what we do as a church is we give the congregation opportunities to respond to God's goodness. This is just a bigger version of that. We love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clear View Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-20 10:14:37 / 2023-01-20 10:27:18 / 13

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